Creating user-friendly service center forms
No one likes it on the shop floor. Nobody wants to fill out forms.
Like most service centers, we recognize that accurate paperwork is a necessary part of any effective system for achieving product quality. But in our experience, it’s always been difficult to develop easy-to-use forms that will streamline the process of moving jobs through the shop. With those thoughts in mind, we at Stewart's Electric Motor Works set out to find a better way to create user-friendly forms.
We started by cramming a lot of information onto a single sheet of paper and, after much discussion, eventually settled on a template that could be used to expand the paperwork of each department.
To simplify the process of making specific repair forms, we used the Tables function in Microsoft® Word to create more than 60 building blocks for capturing common information like nameplate data, flux densities, accessories, instructions/notes, and so forth. We also developed a small library of generic drawings (e.g., horizontal and vertical motors, rotors, armatures, pump components, etc.) that could be incorporated into forms as needed.
Now whenever we need a new form, we just paste the appropriate building blocks into the department’s template and save the document with a new file name. Then we move the blocks around on the page as needed, modifying the labels, cell sizes, and numbers of rows as necessary before saving the document again. With this procedure, it’s fairly easy to create or revise forms for all aspects of repair–from motor and pump inspection and disassembly to machine work, rewinding, reassembly and final testing.
Since this process works so well for us at Stewart’s Electric, it might be helpful to you, too. You can download and view our building blocks, illustrations and generic PDF forms by downloading the ZIP file below (ZIP is an archive file format that contains multiple files or directories that may have been compressed. If you are not familiar with extracting content from ZIP files, see this Microsoft Support page for instructions.) To access this material, you must log in with your user name and password.
To create your own form in MS Word® or MS Publisher®, simply download the building blocks you need. Then cut, paste, resize and move them around on the page to make a form that best fits your company’s needs. (Tip: Ask your children or grandchildren if you need help learning how to cut and paste. :-)
The generic PDF forms may be what you need, so you may choose to use them “as is.”